When I first started to try to build a business online I decided to pursue an interest of mine which was personal development. Over the years I have bought a lot of personal development products such as training packs from companies like Nightingale Conant. These came as a box pack of cassette tapes (remember those?!) which I used to listen to in my car as I did my daily commute to work.
I also read books by guys like Tony Robbins and particularly Stuart Goldsmith who I credit with inspiring me with the desire to achieve personal freedom by becoming financially secure through building my own business.
How To Do Business Online
One quote that always sticks in my mind when it comes to both personal develpment and digital marketing is a very famous one by Zig Ziglar who said:
"You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want."
At first glance it possibly seems a bit counter-intuitive. After all surely the most important thing to focus on is ways to make money for yourself by selling stuff.
However when you think about it, it's the most blindingly obvious and incredibly powerful thing you can do. Think about any successful business you know and look at what their customers say about them. They will almost certainly have people who are raving fans who talk about how the business looks after them.
Why then do so many digital marketers forget this principle of helping others? How do they not realise that this is the secret of how to do business online?
Over the years I've subscribed to a load of mailing lists and I used to get absolutely heaps of email every day. This took me ages to work through and I realised that it was affecting my productivity as well as tempting me to part with my hard-earned cash.
I recently made a decision to go through my various inboxes and cull my subscriptions. I was amazed at how many emails I received were just blatant sales pitches with very little useful content. I unsubscribed from every mailing list from marketers who make little or no attempt to help me and stayed on the lists of the very few who actually offer help to their customers.
I thought about which marketers I've encountered over the years that were genuinely helpful that I could hold up as role models. I think of guys like Paul O'Mahoney who regularly runs webinars which share loads of useful advice (and yes there's usually a sales pitch at the end). Another marketer I admire is Rob Cornish who I think offers the best customer service experience I've ever encountered.
I particularly remember that when I had problems with one of his products and emailed him with a question, he personally replied with a video message which explained in detail how to resolve the issue. Now that's customer service and it's why when Rob sends out an email it's one of the first I read and I happily buy his products in the knowledge that they will be great.
I recently talked to my friend Sotiris about building an online business and he talked about how to help customers by telling them about staff that has helped you and what has worked for you. This is the simple way to build trust with your community and help people to succeed too.
When you learn this important aspect of how to do business online then you will find that your customers become repeat buyers and fans of you and your brand.